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Thread: Satellite Dish Amplifying Signal??

  1. #1
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    Satellite Dish Amplifying Signal??

    OK, here's what happened. I was grilling out in my back yard just standing around waiting for the meat to cook and figured I'd try and see if att's signal had improved. All I get at my house is Edge with my phone, a Razr v3xx, I get about 2 or three bars strength, typical. Searching a little longer on automatic for 3g I am disappointed by att again being that there is 3g about 15 miles away hoping they would have gotten around to expanding it sometime in my lifetime.

    OK, back to being disappointed I thought I would force the 3g band on my phone. I've known how to do this for a while, tried it all around town and my property and no 3g any where, but apparently I haven't tested where I've been grilling. Now, it just so happens that while standing at the grill with the phone forcing 3g I pick up full five bars 3g. Amazing!! Joyed with disbelieve at this finding I thought finally I was in the midst of being able to get a little satisfaction where i live. After thinking about this for a while and walking around hoping to keep the signal at least in my yard I wasn't able to, only where I've been grilling.

    Now... I live in upstate NY.... in the finger-lakes area near Syracuse where there are drumlins (hills) all around me and I sit right in a hole with several of these hills on every side of my town. 3g like I said is about 15 miles away from me. Not close enough to even try and force 3g with hills in the way.

    Back at the grill...amazed still that this is the only spot where I'm able to experience this; I mean actually use it too, I went online and even watched the office on att's cellular video site. I stand there and look up and right above me is my huge 10-12 foot zenith satellite dish on top of my second story roof. I don't use it anymore but it's still in great shape. This thing sits pretty high probably 15 feet above my second story roof a total of like 35 to 40 feet of the ground. I hold my phone up under the vicinity of the satellite dish next to the grill and full bars 3g. Sweet! But this is still highly impracticable. I'm not leaving my phone on my grill.

    So after putting you guys through this longer than necessary story what do you think? It wasn't a series of rogue signals that drifted off a tower. It was solid 3g. Is my satellite dish actually amplifying any weak 3g there is above my house and focusing it near my grill? I know it sounds strange but what else could it be for one unique spot in my yard?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherPilot
    1. ...while standing at the grill with the phone forcing 3g I pick up full five bars 3g. Amazing!!

    2. ...amazed that this is the only spot where I'm able to experience this; I mean actually use it too,

    3. right above me is my huge 10-12 foot zenith satellite dish on top of my second story roof.

    4. what could it be for one unique spot in my yard?
    Okeh!
    1. Good for you!
    2. Maybe not...
    3. Could have an effect...
    4. I went to a presentation on radar cross section scattering analysis software. Normally this software shows the flaws in "stealthy" aircraft shapes and the like - but as an unclassified demonstration showed the scattering cross section for Mt St Helens (Washington state) at 1.9 gHz. (That is, PCS cell phone service.). A company like T-Mobile could publish a coverage map but this kind of detail would be too much. Signal strength varies enormously in just a few feet. Yes - it could be just one spot in your backyard.

    There was another talk on fractal antenna design which sorta runs the scattering program in reverse - an alternative explanation.
    Regards

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    I suppose it's theoretically possible that the satellite dish is acting as a radio "mirror" so to speak--getting enough elevation to peek over the hills, and accidentally reflecting the signal from a tower down onto the ground.Radio signals can behave in odd ways--you can get a signal or not get a signal depending on some very unusual effects.

    If you really wanted to take advantage of this, may I suggest buying a repeater and hooking up the outside antenna near the dish or grill?

  4. #4
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    Sites are very directional, but generally cover up to ~120 degrees, if I'm not mistaken (unless they're omnis).

    I know a spot in Santa Clarita, on Seco Canyon where the actual site is 'over the hill', but due to the direction of a set of panels, an area of ~100' gives me ~ -80dBm on 3G, but on either side of it, its -106dBm.
    It almost sounds like the signal is bouncing off the dish in your case. Try to connect an external antenna off that cable connected to your dish and see what it does for grins.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    Thanks for the input guys. I'll have try the cables that are coming off of the dish into the house to see if it really is the dish. Trying to think how i would connect the phone up though. I have a wilson external antenna on my car, and maybe if I splice the sat wires and the wilson adapter for the phone together I suppose this would work. I don't mind wrecking the sat wire as I don't use the dish anymore, but really don't want to kill the wilson adapter for the external antenna to do this. Whatever, I'll figure something out.

  6. #6
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    That is just amazing.. I have at&t 3g coming in october of this year.. FINALLY.. I'm in a hilly area in northwest connecticut and use boosters for my at&t data cards including my sprint one also.. Sprint is 3g everywhere in southern new england.. Try a booster for sure if its possible

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